Monday 11 November 2013

Running up that hill....

Intervals on top Thursday, Tempo run round it Sunday...
    Every now and again, though admittedly not as often nowadays, I feel the need for some speed. Sometimes it just feels good to be floating along in sun and wind at a faster than usual pace. Not flat out and not for very far, but at a speed one can comfortably maintain for 12 - 16 reps over 200m or so, and ideally maintaining the same pace throughout.  If you're struggling towards the end it means you've started off too fast. Better to start off a little conservatively and be accelerating slightly for the final few. And that's what I set out to do for an interval session last week. 
  16 x 200m @ 45 secs is what I'd planned (6
So true....
min/mile pace) but as I ascended 300ft or so to my normally sheltered training area on Castle Hill the wind got stronger and the air got colder - particularly so as the sun disappeared behind gathering clouds. I wouldn't normally complain about 40° but when it's blowing full frontal at 20mph, and me in shorts and Helly Hansen Lifa, I felt I hadn't really warmed up as I set off on the first test run into the wind. 49 seconds the watch said, so decided to run the rest in 48's and cut the reps down to 12. They felt comfortable enough except for a penultimate 50 when a playful dog decided to dodge between my legs, so finished with a 46 to compensate. Back down off the hill I turned into the local cricket field for a few shorter but faster reps before jogging home after a fairly satisfactory 7 miles.

Wonderful running country, in the Yorkshire Dales near Austwick....
   Tempo runs are my least favourite discipline, especially those that involve 660ft of climbing, but that's what I decided to do on Sunday. Don't ask why! It was a cold crisp morning with glorious sunshine and a cloudless sky as I locked the door and padded off down the road. Note that word 'down' - the one redeeming feature - but only for the first ¾ mile, then it rose relentlessly for the next 1¼ miles to the village of Farnley Tyas. With the exception of one brief stop to take a photograph (top) all went well and I completed the five miles in 48.58. I was happy with that. Then, as I stopped my watch, it came up with another of those funny messages saying 'New Record'. It seems to think that somewhere along the way a new 5K record of 30.14 was established which isn't bad, I suppose, for a decrepit old octogenarian.That run brought up 18 miles for the week, which is hardly enough if I want to start racing again. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I do...


  1. Hello Runningfox,
    I did not mean to be rude by not replying to your comment on running bug.
    Not much good at finding my way round these sites and have only just seen it.
    You are a class act. Sub 3 at age 62!!!! I am really struggling to get under 4 but in Jan am pacing myself at 3:45 and if I blow up too bad. Just started my second training cycle using the Hansons principles which seem to suit me and things are going well.

    Missed a couple of days due to Kidney stones last month but all is good.

    Your site is fantastic. Very professional. All the best Andrew Turner.

    1. Thanks for visiting but Hey, steady on, or I'll have to buy a bigger hat! Your website is very informative too, and I note you make references to Mad Dog. Is he still around? The links on his site don't seem to work.

  2. Tempo runs are my least favourite too - they can be brutal! You're very brave to do yours on an incline - I always keep mine as flat as possible ;) .

    1. There aren't any flat places here Karien. I've considered doing what Ed Whitlock does this winter, training round the local cemetery - but even that's on a slope!

  3. Yes, uphill tempos are a bit hard to do, unless you are flanked with some other runners who are moving in the same direction.. then you find all sorts of encouragement you didn't know existed. :D Those reps sound pretty good to me-

    1. Aye, those tempos would definitely feel easier, and I'd maybe do them a wee bit quicker if I'd someone of similar ability to train with...